A month ago I was at my friend Suzanne’s, planning her bedroom makeover when I realized that her playroom was almost blog worthy. So I said, “Hey can I style your playroom and shoot it for the blog and take credit for all the cute things you’ve done?” She obliged, knowing she would get free styling and some new stuff. The space was great, it just needed some extra help. I’m a good helper.
Here it was before:
That is a very unfair “before” shot as that was after Charlie and Townes had played/fought for a 1/2 hour. Just when you think you have the sweetest toddler on the planet, he proves to you that he is really just a sociopath. It takes them 3 hours of fighting to start having fun and sharing toys. Meanwhile someone’s home always gets destroyed. This time it was hers. But you get the gist – it was this pretty neutral, rustic, and warm space that could use like 15% styling help. It was open to the living room and dining room so this wasn’t the time to paste that tella tubby mural on the walls.
This area, towards the dining room, in particular needed more help. She installed those shelves (that she stained herself) and they weren’t styled yet and felt empty. In addition she needed more storage, a larger rug, and the sofa needed some softening.
So we took two trips to Target and grabbed a couple plants and quickly fixed all those problems. Here you go:
This side of the room changed very little and, like I said, it looks like I styled it when she did the bulk of the work. Sure, we added a plant, styled the books, and rearranged the table to face camera better (which was a cheat as we shot it the other way in the other position). Everything she had done made the room feel as big as possible and reduced the clutter (when there weren’t two toddlers destroying things).
There are a few things here you should know: 1. She painted the bottom of the Thomas The Train table – a table that Brian and I have debated buying for months based on her recommendation, but we have NO space to put it so we are holding out. I guess typically the base of it is super colorful in a bad way, so she painted it that pretty pale gray and it looks so cute.
The second thing you should know is that she renovated that play kitchen. Like a whole kitchen overhaul on a miniature scale. Apparently this isn’t unheard of – check out this post for 10 other ideas for a play kitchen remodel. I was still extremely impressed.
When she bought it, it looked like this:
But she wanted it to look like this, without that price tag. So she painted it, put in a backsplash (subway tile contact paper), installed new countertops (marble contact paper) and reinstalled ‘copper’ hardware and faucet (spray paint).
I feel like I do a lot in our home and that I’m useful and full of good ideas, but there is no way I would have thought to do this. Ever. She is a very good woman.
Now the other side of the room looks pulled together. The bookcase looks like a combination of playroom and grownup family room.
Here’s what we did:
1. Added closed storage for the unsightly toys (the pretty linen storage bins).
2. Displayed the cute toys like the trucks out as “objects” on the shelf.
3. Added some art to help take up some real estate (so it didn’t look so bare), and art in the back of the shelf always adds depth.
4. Threw in some lamps to bring light over in that area during evening play hours (and strung the cord behind the vertical shelving pieces).
5. Displayed books with cute bookends or horizontally.
The sofa was perfectly simple and functional but felt sad, so we added that pretty throw and some pillows.
As any mom of toddlers know, you want as few pieces of furniture possible in a playroom because those kids need space. No coffee table or unnecessary side tables were added – just a cute pouf (kids love to play on or around poufs) and textiles.
The rug worked well with the other rug and was a much better scale in the room (5×7). It is low pile enough so that cars can get rolled over, but still cozy for floor time playing.
I love those animal pillows. Ridiculous.
There you have it – a quick playroom refresh before and after.
I think that what Suzanne did so well was keep the color palette really simple, neutral, and pretty. The blues, greys, and whites all work with the whole house (which is fairly open) and keep it feeling quiet in what is surely the most chaotic room. I think that if your playroom is separate from your living space, then go for nutty colors for sure; but if it’s open like this one, then be inspired by the simplicity here and keep it tonal. The toys and books will add those pops that make it feel playful.
Overall the transformation took a day and while we didn’t do anything major, it really is a more pulled together, adult friendly and still a pretty happy place for toddlers to totally destroy.
1. Gray Convertible Futon | 2. Stag Head Decor | 3. Brass and Marble Square Accent Lamp | 4. Everything but the Dalmatian Fire Engine | 5. Ahoy Matey Framed Map | 6. Dinosaur Framed String Art | 7. Octopus Throw Pillow | 8. Safavieh Weston Natural Fiber Rug | 9.Zig Zag Embroidered Pillow | 10. Whale Throw Pillow | 11. Embossed Ceramic Table Lamp | 12. Ceramic Elephant | 13. Black & White Striped Vase | 14. Lidded Canvas Milk Crate Box | 15. Striped Cotton Blanket | 16. Wood Rhino Figurine | 17. Duktig Play Kitchen | 18. Ivar Pine Cabinet | 19. Black & White Pot | 20. Wheely Lady Bug Ride On | 21. Black & White Patterned Pouf | 22. Rhino Wood Bookends | 23. Greenich Gray & White Polka Dot Rug
Enjoyed this makeover post? Check out these: A DIY Kitchen Redo Under $400, Neutral (Well, Mostly) California Nursery, Scott’s Bedroom Makeover With Leesa, Moonrise Kingdom Boy’s Bedroom, A Rustic Mid-Century Family Room, Sara Updates Her Childhood Bedroom – The Reveal, The Easiest Guest Room Makeover Ever, Brady’s DIY Peel and Stick Kitchen Flooring (For Under $50).